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What Are You Reading > What Are You Reading - December 2011

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message 1: by Kim, In Absentia (new)

Kim | 588 comments Mod
And so we come to the end of the year. A busy month for most people how much reading will you be able to squeeze in?

I'm heading overseas to Seattle for most of the month so my reading will be much reduced though the plane flights should allow for a couple books.

I will be reading The Handmaid's Tale for this club, The Postman Always Rings Twice for the Noir club and Ready Player One for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy club.

I want to finish Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex and also fit in Watership Down, Inheritance, The Hunger Games and whatever else I find time for.

Happy Holidays :)


message 2: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
I'll be reading The Handmaid's Tale, I might reread The Postman Always Rings Twice, but also want to complete Room and The Thirty-Nine Steps, after that, not sure yet.


message 3: by Karen (last edited Dec 16, 2011 05:35PM) (new)

Karen | 17 comments I am reading "The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik van Loon, a YA nonfiction that's actually very good even though written many decades ago. Next on tap is Salmon Rushdie's "The Enchantress of Florence."


message 4: by Melki (last edited Dec 01, 2011 02:46AM) (new)

Melki | 205 comments My December stack is ready and waiting. I'm going to read The Battle for Christmas, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for another group, and reread The Postman Always Rings Twice for yet another group.

Although it's been 24 years since I read The Handmaid's Tale, I'm probably not going to reread - mainly because there's a big ole gaping hole on the shelf where the book used to be. I seem to remember my oldest son taking it into his room almost two years ago, and there's no way I'm going in there looking for it. The horror, the horror!


message 5: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Barlow | 97 comments Im having a problem just picking up a book at the moment,for some reason feeling too restless to read which is really annoying because im halfway through 1Q84 which is a really good book and i cant wait to see how it develops.


message 6: by Pupukat (new)

Pupukat | 20 comments I am reading "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". Has anyone read this? I'm having a hard time getting through it. I love the writing, the concept, the characters, and the story. It's cleverly written, but there is something about it that is preventing me from finishing it. I know it's 800 pages, but I am usually a much faster reader than this.


message 7: by Everitt (new)

Everitt | 114 comments I'm trying to finish The Butcher Boy, which I did not finish over Thanksgiving as planned. Then I'll be re-reading The Lord of the Rings just because it makes me feel like a kid again and hey it's that time of year. And then around Christmas I'll be reading 'The Dead' by Joyce from Dubliners and maybe one other traditional story that I've not yet decided on.

Other than those maybe some classics that it just feels like you're supposed to have read. Maybe The Naked and the Dead or The Thin Red Line/From Here to Eternity.


message 8: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (kate47) I'm in the middle of The Handmaids Tale our book club choice and will follow with an easy quaint read Fannie Flaggs 'Fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe'. After that I will be checking out what everyone else is reading and enjoying and go from there.


message 9: by Lawyer (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) "The Handmaid's Tale" for Literary Explorations. Check!
"The Postman Always Rings Twice" for Pulp Fiction. Check!
Currently in "Brighton Beach," Graham Greene.
And thinking about a re-read of "The Quiet American."
But always checking everyone's reviews for the next best book.


message 10: by Booksy (new)

Booksy | 96 comments Mike wrote: ""The Handmaid's Tale" for Literary Explorations. Check!
"The Postman Always Rings Twice" for Pulp Fiction. Check!
Currently in "Brighton Beach," Graham Greene.
And thinking about a re-read of "Th..."


Hi Mike, I've done a brief review on "Hangover Square" (if you are interested to have a look at), highly recommend this book, it was a reat treat.


message 11: by Booksy (new)

Booksy | 96 comments Wendy wrote: "Im having a problem just picking up a book at the moment,for some reason feeling too restless to read which is really annoying because im halfway through 1Q84 which is a really good book and i cant..."

Hi Wendy, I am finishing listening to the audiobook of volume one of 1Q84 and also enjoying it so much. Every chapter brings an unexpected angle and subplot that i keep adniring at. Also veery eager to know how it is going to develop.


message 12: by Raya (last edited Dec 02, 2011 11:54PM) (new)

Raya (airtwit) | 15 comments I've become annoyed with biology taking up most of my time during these last three months, so I am extremely anxious for it to end (countdown: 4 days). That said, I have a list of books I am determined to read this month, most of which I had started but had to put on hiatus:
*Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood
*An Idiot Girl's Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List.
*It's Not Me, It's You: Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally Inebriated Woman
*The Mrs. Dalloway Reader
*The Name of the Rose (I know, this was last month's read, but life forced me to put it down.)
*The Five People You Meet in Heaven
*North and South
*Dracula (Picked this up back in September. Again: life got in the way.)
*A Christmas Carol
*It's All Relative
*The Alchemist

And of course: The Handmaid's Tale. I picked this up yesterday and would read it now if I weren't facing finals. Maybe this time I'll be able to pop in on the group discussion.

I will read these books. All of them. I have a goal.

Because I keep hearing good, good things about 1Q84, I think I will buy it with a few others I've been wanting.


message 13: by Nandakishore (last edited Dec 03, 2011 12:07AM) (new)

Nandakishore Varma | 1 comments Pupukat wrote: "I am reading "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". Has anyone read this? I'm having a hard time getting through it. I love the writing, the concept, the characters, and the story. It's cleverly written, but there is something about it that is preventing me from finishing it. I know it's 800 pages, but I am usually a much faster reader than this."

Having read this, I can tell you that it's a very slow read, mostly because it's written in the format of an 18th Century novel. There are plenty of ponderous footnotes, running across pages sometimes, giving us the background of the magical England that Strange and Norrel inhabit. I think it is meant to be read slowly, savouring the feel and the atmosphere. My advice is to take your time - you will benefit by it.


message 14: by Melki (new)

Melki | 205 comments Good luck with those finals, Raya. It's SO annoying when real life interferes with your reading time.


message 15: by Franky (new)

Franky | 450 comments Raya wrote: "I've become annoyed with biology taking up most of my time during these last three months, so I am extremely anxious for it to end (countdown: 4 days). That said, I have a list of books I am determ..."

Raya, that's an impressive list of books. I read and enjoyed The Five People You Meet in Heaven and have North and South as one of my to reads at some point. (I saw the first half of the miniseries and thought it looked interesting).

This month, I'm planning on finishing A Passage to India (fingers crossed...half way through) and reading the Noir book choice, The Postman Always Rings Twice, as well as this month's selection, The Handmaid's Tale, and Drood, if there is any time left.


message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa O'Rourke | 21 comments Have just read 'The Sense of an Ending' by julian Barnes - Amazing...
I am about to read 'The Forgotten Waltz' by Anne Enright


message 17: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
Yay, more people who thought The Sense of an Ending was amazing


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (Leeees) | 48 comments I just finished The Handmaid's Tale so I am now reading How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas to get me into the Christmas spirit. I read The Autobiography of Santa Claus several years ago and it was a light, fun book with a little history woven into the fiction that I found fun to read. If I get the Mrs. Claus story done before Christmas Jeff Guinn wrote a third Christmas tale called The Great Santa Search. I guess I just have to see how much time I have..

I read Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell years ago and didn't like it as much as I wanted to like it. I felt it kind of dragged along.


message 19: by M.L. (last edited Dec 04, 2011 10:39AM) (new)

M.L. | 306 comments I'm humbled by Raya's list! :)

I'm currently reading Legend - a page turner! New YA release and debut novel; already
film optioned - and I can see why. Futuristic class warfare, with 2 great young protagonists on opposite sides (at the start) - fast moving chase - a breath of fresh air - lots of fun.


message 20: by Raya (new)

Raya (airtwit) | 15 comments Thanks, Melki! I've put myself in a pinch, cramming for eight chapters covered in biology and I'm a little concerned about the time I'll have left to review math. At least I took two class this quarter as opposed to... more. :P

Franky: I saw the film adaption of The Five People You Meet in Heaven when it came out. I enjoyed it, but it never occurred to me to read the book until now! Sadly, I read about 50 or so pages of North and South (just where the plot seems to get a move-on!) before classes took priority. The language has a tendency to trip my own tongue from time to time, but I'm eager to return to where I left off.


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa O'Rourke | 21 comments Knowledge Lost wrote: "Yay, more people who thought The Sense of an Ending was amazing"

I think this is a book (novella) that will stay with me for a very long time. May have to read it one more time very soon. Amazing that so much can be said and implied in such few pages. Very special book. Great choice for the Man Booker Prize 2011.


message 22: by Melki (new)

Melki | 205 comments Found my copy of The Handmaid's Tale under my son's bed yesterday, along with some other stuff I don't want to talk, or even think about. I can't stand the thought of you all enjoying it without me. It was in my stack for ten minutes before my husband took it and put it in his stack.
Perhaps a second copy of this book is in order?


message 23: by M.L. (last edited Dec 04, 2011 12:42PM) (new)

M.L. | 306 comments I finished Legend and it was really exciting. It's a trilogy and will be looking forward to the next one. The setting is Los Angeles and it was fascinating to read of familiar places in a dystopian world! :)

Now reading an absolute favorite, The Hobbit - for about the 6th-7th time.


message 24: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) I just finished the The Handmaid's Tale which - reading it for the second time - I loved just as much as the first time around. I will now start reading The Map and the Territory by Houllebecq which I have been looking forward to for quite some time now, throw a bit of Joyce's The Dead in between (he's so much less scary in smaller formats) and towards Christmas I am planning to finally come around to ta ta ta taaaa! The Name of the Rose


message 25: by Philippa (new)

Philippa | 100 comments Just started The Handmaid's Tale and very much enjoying it. Ironically it's one of those books that in my secondary school book group, the librarian was always trying to get us to read because she throught we'd find it interesting (being an all girls school, where they desperately tried to turn us all in to modern day feminists) and as a result of her recommendation we all determined not to read it at all, as some of her previous suggestions had generally left much to be desired. So I'm glad it came up here, else otherwise I may never have touched it!

Have A Christmas Carol on hold atm, as I think it will be a perfect read for Christmas eve evening when I'm perfectly organised all the food for the next day is prepared, I have a nice glass of mulled wine (or some other festive drink), all the presents are wrapped etc etc and I'm sitting with my feet up. Of course, I imagine that in actual practice this won't be the case but I'm going to live in hope and try and squeeze it in then if possible!

Also hoping to get The Name of the Rose completed this month!


message 26: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (Marlene1001) | 289 comments I told myself I was going to read it first. No matter what. So I´m still occupied for a week or so (got exams at the moment) to finish The Name of The Rose and then I´ll move to The Handmaids Tale.
I´m really curious how it´s going to be, because I only found people who liked it so far... mmh...


message 27: by Philippa (last edited Dec 08, 2011 09:19AM) (new)

Philippa | 100 comments Marlene wrote: "I told myself I was going to read it first. No matter what. So I´m still occupied for a week or so (got exams at the moment) to finish The Name of The Rose and then I´ll move to The Handmaids Tale...."

The Handmaid's Tale is much easier reading than The Name of The Rose. With Name of the Rose I feel a bit like I should only read it when I can give it my complete attention as there is SO much happening. Handmaid's tale is perfect for when you can only squeeze in a couple of minutes reading!

Good luck with your exams!


message 28: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (Marlene1001) | 289 comments Thanks! :)

But I´m stubborn that way. I´ve read day two, three and four today, so I schould be able to finish it by sunday, the latest.
After this I´m aiming for Frankenstein and Jane Eyre - and there is christmas to think about, right?


message 29: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) I am currently devouring reading Leviathan by Auster and I think it's brilliant until now. It's one of these books that really have an effect on who you are while reading it. Both because it is quite an emotionally draining read and because I almost feel as if the ideas he's playing with in the book (like one of his ongoing obsessions: the idea of chance) have taken me hostage for the duration of the read.


message 30: by M.L. (last edited Dec 11, 2011 04:46PM) (new)


message 31: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Flash Beagle wrote: "Reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon."

One of my favorite books ever.


message 32: by Laurin (new)

Laurin (LaurinLooLoo) I"m reading various Sherlock Holmes books. I downloaded the free Kindle versions, and I'm trying to read them in order.

I also am reading Two for the Dough.

I have other various books that I have been meaning to finish, but haven't gotten the chance to. I'm looking to finish those soon. I have a long winter break, so I think I'll do some reading.

Soon, I will have a couple more books finished, since school will be over on the 21st.


message 33: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (Marlene1001) | 289 comments You´ll need a lot of time for the Sherlock Holmes books. Believe me, I read them myself, but after a while (after I read all the novels and half of the short stories) I changed my strategy and am reading only one short story a day.
They somhow blurr together when you read too many at once.
My all-time favorite is The Hound of the Baskervilles!


message 34: by Mona (last edited Dec 12, 2011 11:56AM) (new)

Mona (Maidcc) | 3 comments It took me a short time, actually. Well, I guess it depends on the reader. But I couldn't stop reading.
I like all the Sherlock Holmes' stories but Dr. Challenger it's really good too.
I'll soon gonna pick The Hound of The Baskervilles.
And I'm currently reading Tiger, Tiger


message 35: by Laurin (new)

Laurin (LaurinLooLoo) I just finished a Study in Scarlet.


message 36: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 306 comments Deborah wrote: "Flash Beagle wrote: "Reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon."

One of my favorite books ever."


It's a great book - Chabon's writing is...incredible - think it will be one of my favorites too!


message 37: by Franky (new)

Franky | 450 comments Marlene wrote: "You´ll need a lot of time for the Sherlock Holmes books. Believe me, I read them myself, but after a while (after I read all the novels and half of the short stories) I changed my strategy and am r..."

I have the same kind of strategy with Holmes stories. There are a few I come back to and read again, but try to distance some time between them. I also loved The Hound of the Baskervilles.


message 38: by Becky (new)

Becky Aitchison (Becky6229) | 8 comments I'm currently reading the Island of Dr. Moreau, and loving it. Then I'm onto Camus' The Stranger...followed by Catch 22 - a book I've owned for years and am finally going to force myself to read!


message 39: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
Nice choices :)


message 40: by Pupukat (new)

Pupukat | 20 comments I just finished reading Zeitoun. Great book! If you want to find out about what really happened in NO during Hurricane Katrina, it's a quick and good book to read. Now I'm reading a mystery novel set in Laos called The Coroner's Lunch.


message 41: by Karen (new)

Karen (kipper6) | 5 comments I've been doing the same with G K Chesterton Father Brown stories. If I read too many in one sitting they all blur together so I read one before going to sleep each night.


message 42: by Karen (new)

Karen (kipper6) | 5 comments I read the Handmaid's Tale last month so am currently reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire and listening to the audio version of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I've read it before but am having a quick refresher as its my other book club book for January. After that is on to War Horse.


message 43: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) I finally got around to reading The Name of the Rose. Hooray!


message 44: by Sonali (new)

Sonali V | 155 comments Have finished reading THT.Started Henning Mankell's The Eye Of The Leopard- a psychological thriller.I wish I could learn swedish and read the originals, but there's no way I can do that.


message 45: by Emily (new)

Emily (eamcdonald) | 4 comments I FINALLY just finished The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Blech. Has anyone else read this? It took me forever to get through it, and I am majorly resenting the amount of time it took out of my life for basically...ummmm...nothing.

Next up, The Post-Birthday World, then The Pianist and Empire Falls. Beyond that, I'll figure it out when I get there.


message 46: by Franky (new)

Franky | 450 comments Finished A Passage to India and am currently reading The Postman Always Rings Twice for the noir club. Will get to The Handmaid's Tale after this and then on to Drood. Whew! December has been such a busy month that it's been hard to catch up. Will use Christmas vacation to try to do some more catching up on reading.


message 47: by Booksy (new)

Booksy | 96 comments I totally agree with you Franky, I find it almost impossible to catch up with my reading schedule. Maybe the problem is an over-commitment? I did indeed signed up for a few forum monthly reads (all were so fascinating!!!) and also I requested a few books at the library and they all arrived at the same time. So, still trying to catch up. I will have 10 days leave over Christmas, so I am also planning to catch up then.

I am currently:

- Reading (paper book) Jo Nesbo "The Devil's Star" (serial killer thriller set in Oslo, another exciting instalment in the Harry Hole series)
- Listening (audio-book)Murakami "1Q84" (Book #2)
- Reading on iPad "Good Calories, Bad Calories" (I have to admit, this came to a somewhat standstill, maybe I don't prioritise well enough and am still not used fully to read eBooks, I hope I'll get there soon).


message 48: by Kim, In Absentia (new)

Kim | 588 comments Mod
I've barely had any time to read lately. Thought I'd read a lot on my flight but ended up just watching movies the whole way. Have finally started reading Ready Player One.


message 49: by Philippa (last edited Dec 16, 2011 02:14AM) (new)

Philippa | 100 comments Emily wrote: "I FINALLY just finished The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Blech. Has anyone else read this? It took me forever to get through it, and I am majorly resenting the amou..."

I have The Post-Birthday World sitting on my shelf. I am a fan of Lionel Shriver and really want to read it but the size is intimidating. I need to pick it up really when I'm going to be at home so don't have to worry so much about lugging it around everywhere but no idea when that will be. I look forward to seeing how you find it though!

edit: I've just had a look on GR to see the page count and the various editions all seem to come in 500-600 pages which surprises me a bit as my copy at home really is a wedge of a book and looks at least twice the size of a 'regular' 400ish pages one. Will have to look at it when I get home now and find out how long it really is.


message 50: by Raya (new)

Raya (airtwit) | 15 comments I'm happy to say that I've marked off two of the books I previously listed. (It may not seem like a lot, but I've been distracted by another poetry binge.) Rather slowly, I'm still working my way through North and South. While I'd like to finish this (I hate starting books and then tossing them aside!), I seem to lack a keen interest in the plot and characters.

I recently finished What the Living Do: Poems, The Book of Gods and Devils, and Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's book (It's Not Me, It's You)--all of which I enjoyed. I hope to start The Handmaid's Tale very, very soon. It's received some wonderful ratings and reviews.

There are too many books I want to read, but I also have grabbed onto The City of Ember. I came across the DVD the other day... I didn't watch it, but it sounds interesting.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Watership Down (other topics)
Ready Player One (other topics)
The Hunger Games (other topics)
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (other topics)
Inheritance (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Michael Chabon (other topics)
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor (other topics)
C.L. Bevill (other topics)
Jim Butcher (other topics)
Paul Sussman (other topics)
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